group of traveling therapists

9 Types of Traveling Therapists

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Traveling therapists come in all different shapes and forms. Age, marital status, and goals of travel are unique for every individual. After years of being a traveling therapist, and working with many, here is my tongue-in-cheek review of the nine main types of traveling therapists. Enjoy!

women riding a camel
Julie, SLP from www.soundspeechandswallow.com

The Wanderluster

Known to say things like, “I’ll never settle down,” this traveler is drawn to chasing the experience. The wanderluster is traveling for the sake of traveling. They are the ones who don’t want to settle down and travel as a means of personal freedom. They are the flower children who will be forever traveling.

Somehow, the wanderlusters manage to take months off at a time and travel the world in between contracts. Nobody really knows how they manage to only work six months out of the year, and then spend months galavanting the world, but they do. You can never manage to keep track of where they are. Was it working at a hospital in California or learning Spanish in Costa Rica? The wanderluster keeps you on your toes and is always jetting off to a new location.

Kim and Erran from https://kimanderrang.com/

The Couple

They probably met in PT school and decided to start their lives together by taking travel contracts. What a great way to test a relationship and have a built-in travel companion. The couple is #couplegoals for all single therapists who wish they had somebody to travel with them. The couple is often seen doing cool things like taking epic hikes, camping, and even acroyoga.

The New Grad

Full of energy and naive to the future, the new grads keep us all young at heart. They haven’t had years of 90% productivity requirements, badgering patients, and unethical DORs to bust their spirit, yet. The new grad finds excitement in travel and is ecstatic to get phone calls saying “we have a great job opportunity in your area.” A token quality of the new grad is that they have everything figured out after one assignment and then begin mentoring less experienced new grads.

a women with a distressed look on her face
Smack my head I have to work again

The Burnout

The burnout was probably done with a career in therapy 5-10 years ago, but they keep holding on by taking short-term assignments in hopes something will change. You can tell you’re working with a burnout when they come to work and immediately start complaining about their last job and every ailment in their life. Sadly, for the burnout, taking a SNF job 3000 miles from home is only a temporary bandage on a more serious problem. While traveling won’t cure the burnout, it does add another five years to their career before they leave the field altogether to drive Uber.

The One Traveling To Repay Student Loans

If you meet a traveling therapist who is traveling to pay down their student loans, you certainly know it because it’s all they talk about. Within a day of working with them, you will hear about their starting balance, current balance, interest rate, repayment plan, and anticipated date of paying off the loans. These travelers are obsessed with student loans and obsessed with paying them off. Paying off only 50% won’t do, it’s all or nothing. They work high-paying jobs in the middle of nowhere, have a stance on Dave Ramsey, don’t take time off in between contracts, and negotiate a high overtime rate so they can work 60 hours a week and make bank. All in the name of paying off their debt.

Nobody really knows where the one who travels to repay student loans goes after they pay off the student loans. Maybe perm or maybe they go straight to burnout.

The RV’er

At one point or another, every travel therapist probably thought about buying an RV. The sheer ease of not having to pack up your stuff and move every three months is very alluring. The RV’er is the one who actually did it! They are the masters of travel. The ones who can go anywhere with their house and set up shop. They are often accompanied by dogs or cats, which makes us even more jealous of their house-on-wheels lifestyle.

The RV’er is the handiest of the travel therapists. They are well equipped to fix anything that breaks and can make a three-course meal on a single burner. The RV’er is also a mechanic, plumber, electrician, and master of the road.

The Heartbreaker

The heartbreaker is the single travel therapist who is not looking for love, but looking for a good time. Known to hop from city to city, they don’t bat an eye at the trail of tears left behind. They are constantly swiping on Tinder and setting up dates for their new locations. The longest that they have ever been in a relationship is three months, and even that felt like a bit long. If you get involved with the heartbreaker, beware! It won’t be long until they leave you because they “have to go.” They won’t respond to your texts and calls once you leave, because they will already be dating new people.

women holding a camera
Camera in hand, ready for action

The Influencer

The influencer is the traveler who is doing it for the gram. Destinations are hand selected based on potential for likes and famous Instagram spots in the area. Weekends are solely used for taking new photos, editing, and creating content. The influencer may or may not come with a blog, promo code, vlog, recruiter recommendation, YouTube channel, podcast, and/or professional Facebook page. If you want to strike up a conversation with the influencer, ask them how many followers they have, their favorite editing app, or what brands they would love to collaborate with.

The Empty Nester

The empty nester is the type of badass travel therapist that all aspire to be. They raised their children and then decided to leave home and travel like a rock star. Because many of them went to grad school 20+ years ago, they don’t have the crushing student loans that the younger clinicians have. Many empty nesters own homes, have paid off mortgages, and have savings in the bank! They have a cushion of money saved and are ready to go and enjoy the road. Some even have a spouse who retired early and can come along for the ride! The empty nesters are the epitome of travel therapy!

Do you fall into one of these types of traveling therapists? If not, comment with your type below! Hope you enjoyed this blog. It was for fun and laughs!

4 thoughts on “9 Types of Traveling Therapists”

  1. Can’t figure out mine. I want to pay off loans, but not why I did it. Wasn’t burned out exactly, but did get burned by first job. Definitely part wanderlust, but I prefer to travel while on assignment more than in between (give me a long weekend to adventure a little further than my usual day trips). Definitely not RV (spent 5 months in one and thought I’d go nuts). Not really Tinder type… Is there a Dorothy? You know the one who keeps looking for Oz (the perfect placement), but usually ends up in Kansas? ?

    1. That’s such a good idea! Need one for the person who is always chasing the rainbow and looking for the next best job! Hmmmmmm need to think about that one! 🙂

  2. We are just at the beginning of talking about traveling, but we will be the empty nest RV’ers. I’m so excited about this possibility, and LOVE all the information you have given!! I’ve been an SLP for 28 years, and I’m thrilled at the possibility of getting to travel!!

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